Amano – Madagascar

Amano – Madagascar

The second batch of Amano’s Madagascar takes a huge leap on from the earlier – but promising – batches. With this bar Amano make the move from promising upstart to fully fledged premier league bean to bar maker. Don’t be fooled by the slick presentation, this is still pretty much a two-man band when it ..

Slitti – Gran Cacao 73%

Slitti is almost there, yet he’s so far away. At 73%, the chocolate comes close to delivering a great flavor but succumbs to a few flaws that make the bar merely average. Overall, it’s not a bad chocolate but just deficient in the qualities needed to make this blend work

Galler – Chocolate Noir 60

Do you want wild? This is the chocolate for you. WIth flavours that defy expectations at every point in the process, it’s unclear whether your experience will be one of spinning in confusion or swooning in a haze of ecstasy. It’s got a lot going for it, and yet also potentially a lot to criticise. ..

Valrhona – Abinao

Unfortunately, Valrhona demonstrates either its lack of mastery or unsuitability of style with ultra-percentage chocolate once again. What one might hope would be an improvement on the lackluster Noir Extra Amer turns out, if anything, to be a diminishment, and the resultant chocolate arrives harsh and difficult. Valrhona teases some interest early in this chocolate ..

Valrhona – Tanariva

Amazingly, Valrhona has managed to get character and interest in a milk chocolate even at a shockingly low percentage. This one will shake your ideas about what such milk chocolates are like. Not at all the sweet, candylike substance one normally expects at 33%, this reveals interest and components very characteristic of Madagascar. Worth trying ..

Weiss – Grand Noir 57%

Mysterious decision making yields a bar that pushes the boundaries of acceptability and even leaves one questioning why this bar even exists. Chocolates at this level need not perpetrate the notion that semisweet is associated with excessive sweetness and poor processing standards. Weiss needs to send this one back to the drawing board and conjure ..

Domori – Sur Del Lago Clasificado 100%

Interestingly, Domori reveals here in the classically fruity Sur Del Lago the reality that not all beans make for a great 100% interpretation. While not bad, and certainly capturing all of the bean’s distinctive fruitiness, the lack of sugar allows other, assertive characteristics to express themselves fully that might better stay hidden. Like the good ..

Domori – Ecuador

At long last, somebody has come up with an interpretation of the great Ecuador bean that leaves nothing on the table. Domori proves the winner, and here has created a flawless chocolate that should quickly become the reference for how Ecuador is done. Breathtaking both for its towering strength and for its giant body, a ..

Theo Chocolate – Ghana Panama Ecuador

A felicitous choice of 3 harmonious blending varietals produces a blended bar with a lot of character. Neither a generic, bland blend or a bar that is no more than the sum of its parts, it contains notes of interest throughout. A few slight slips in processing prevent this from being a perfect chocolate (yet) ..

Theo Chocolate – Madagascar 65%

Something of a disappointment, a chocolate with too much brute strength for the delicacy normally associated with Madagascar. Reminiscent of Domori’s Sambirano in the way in which it pushes forward aggressively. Surprising, too, to find this result in a lower-percentage chocolate. It certainly hits all the characteristic flavours of Madagascar, but with just a little ..

Theo Chocolate – Venezuela 91%

Theo’s much-anticipated Venezuela lives up to expectations and is the best of their range. Indeed, this is clearly the best ultra-percentage bar on the market today (excluding pure unsweetened chocolates) and a demonstration that one can avoid flatness at high percentage through careful processing. Magnificent in depth and interest, and stylistically unique, this must be ..

Domori – Sambirano 70%

Probably the most sour chocolate of its range, Sambirano is an all-out assault of tartness, delivered in red and purple shades. However, it is properly balanced and therefore precludes the final impression that Domori went just a little too far this time. If you like extremes, this one is for you

Pralus – Mélissa

A presumably well-intended venture into milk territory yields results that are far removed from the characteristics commonly associated with the Pralus name. Melissa is mild and delicate, not strong and stout — definitely a departure from the Pralus style and a chocolate that will leave a few tongues craving more

Lindt & Sprüngli – Excellence Ecuador 75%

Overall, a good Arriba but certainly not the best. Several factors offset the beans’ positive characteristics and therefore might prevent full enjoyment of the chocolate. The bean selection here might be questionable, but Lindt has done a relatively good job with their given resources. But despite all of this, the vague “”natural flavoring”” on the ..